Whether it’s their joyously visceral live performance or their intensely vulnerable songs, Chicago’s own Beach Bunny are an open book from start to finish. Their debut record Honeymoon is just the first of many good reads.
Though the debut album is currently making its way through swathes of bedroom speakers, the band first experienced a taste of success with the release of their viral hit ‘Prom Queen’ in 2018, which has seen 41 million streams on Spotify come through in an absurdly quick time.
Stacking numbers on the band’s Spotify page were important for PR teams and management, it was at gigs that it became clear word was spreading about the band, “we noticed more new people coming out to shows which was amazing to see. I think we were all surprised but at the same time proud to see our hard work pay off in some way.” The push of streams saw the band set out to write a debut LP.
Released on Mom + Pop records on Valentine’s Day this year, the album is a crashing tour de force of integrous indie pop gems. On one hand, the LP is full of thrill-a-minute punk charm, while on the other, it displays more intrinsically personal moments of melancholy. But the album’s real character shines from the moments of humanity where they mix together.
It’s an intoxicating mix of light and dark, so much so that it conjures moments of sheer pop bliss without ever feeling flippant or overly-candied. Songs on the album like ‘Ms. California‘, ‘Cloud 9’ and ‘Colorblind’ are bona fide dancefloor fillers and it’s a note of pride for lead singer and creative drive behind the band, Lili Trifilio, “I really love pop music so most of the songs off the album have a pop structure to them. I like to write melancholic lyrics and contrast them with a super upbeat sound.” While not sounding particularly similar on the ever-growing spectrum of rock and roll, this ability to smelt together dark lyrics and airy sonics is something akin to The Cure in their goth-pop heyday.
Much like Robert Smith, Trifilio too is a savvy songsmith. She’s technically efficient with her words and resoundingly robust with her riffs. When you add the band’s caramel tone alongside the singer’s girl-next-door vocal you have a recipe for chart-topping success. While that may play into every artist’s mind at some point during their career, for Trifilio things are a little purer.
Across the LP the singer opens up, “I try to be as vulnerable and genuine as possible in my writing and usually write directly from my own experiences. So when I’m going through something sad I tend to talk about it in the song, regardless of how the melody sounds. Music is like therapy to me in a lot of ways so writing out my feelings really helps me to release any negative emotions I’m holding onto.” It an uncompromising attitude to musical wellbeing that has led to the album’s poignancy.
It’s an ethos that runs through the entire album. Every song is a reflection or a connection, every lyric is felt and then sung loud and proud, without deliberate intention or planned marketing and all delivered with complete authenticity.